08.06.2020

5 Tech Trends Poised to Upend the Real Estate Industry

Land has been around a lot longer than Amazon Stock. As such, real estate is notoriously slow to adapt to technological trends. After all, whether you use it for a strawberry patch or a Tesla plant, land was here before us and will be here after us. The way real estate professionals have traditionally done business is old time—handshakes and hunches.

Land has been around a lot longer than Amazon Stock. As such, real estate is notoriously slow to adapt to technological trends. After all, whether you use it for a strawberry patch or a Tesla plant, land was here before us and will be here after us. The way real estate professionals have traditionally done business is old time—handshakes and hunches.

 

All that is changing. It’s called PropTech. It’s a buzzword for how the real estate industry is entering the tech age. Some pros are eager for it. Others will be dragged kicking and screaming. But the real estate business will never be the same in the wake of key tech trends poised to revolutionize PropTech …

 

1. Big Data

From brokers to investors to homebuyers, every participant in the real estate industry makes data-driven decisions … or tries to. Historically, the problem has been too many factors and too little reliable data, warehoused in a centralized space.

 

Data is now big business, with mountains of data compiled for nearly every measurable vector. From free consumer-facing data repositories like Zillow Homes, to sophisticated analytical tools like CoStar for commercial real estate, real estate professionals and dabblers alike have unprecedented access to free or affordable data on trends across all asset classes, including:

 

– Valuation

 

– Job growth.

 

– Demographics

 

– Inventory and absorption.

 

– Crime statistics.

 

– Vacancy

2. Artificial Intelligence

Of course, all this data is useless if it’s more than a human can wrap itself around. Fortunately, computer scientists are hard at work making machines that can do the hard and tedious thinking for us.

 

– AI encompasses a range of functions that will find its way into the real estate industry, including:

 

– The expectation of homes, apartments, and offices to come equipped with AI virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri.

 

– Home or property search tools that learn a buyer’s preferences and accurately hone in on the perfect property.

 

– Machine-learning algorithms that crunch vast quantities of data from different sources to identify good real estate investments based on data.

 

– Chatbots to automate the processes of real estate brokerage and property management.

 

– Automated workflows to bring the entire property-buying process online—no more two-foot-tall stacks of forms to read and sign.

3. Robotics

Data processing and chat support aren’t the only frontiers of automation. In 2019 Chinese mega-company AliBaba opened FlyZoo Hotel, the “hotel of the future,” with automated check-in and robotic bellhops and bartenders, using facial recognition to identify guests.

 

FlyZoo hotel is something of a lark right now, but if any of their robotic innovations catch on, they could have far-reaching implications not only for the hospitality industry, but also for property management and real estate brokerage.

4. Internet of Things

The “Internet” as we usually imagine it is found on servers and accessible through computer browsers. The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is much more tangible. It refers to a universe of physical products that connect to the internet to perform advanced functions that their non-IoT counterparts cannot.

 

Examples of IoT in real estate include:

 

– “Smart” devices that calibrate the HVAC to user preferences.

 

– Cloud-connected security devices, like remote doorbells and security cameras.

 

– Remote keypads on apartments or vacation rentals that allow property managers to control access remotely.

 

5. Virtual Reality

They say real estate is about “location, location, location,” so you can imagine the applications to the industry of technology that takes you to other places. VR can not only create property tours of new builds for potential buyers, but also play a key role in architecture and design, as well as virtual tours of impossible-to-visit property guts like the plumbing and electrical infrastructure.

 

 

Real estate was never going to languish forever. The tech horizons are too vast for the world’s oldest form of wealth to escape untouched. For real estate enthusiasts and professionals who also love tech, PropTech is a match made in heaven and a long time coming.

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